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Physics/Spruce Goose


QUESTION: Do you think the Spruce Goose would have maintained flight had it elevated past the influence of the ground effect? What do you think a jet stream across the wings would look like? I keep seeing a flying tractor and I have a feeling Hughes flew it when he did so the Senate wouldn't lock him up or drain his pocketbook on fraud charges over the war department investment.

ANSWER: It was supposed to have a ceiling around 20,000 ft.  I have no reason to doubt it could've gotten out of ground effect.  A "jet stream across the wings" is kind of an odd term, I don't know what you mean by that...the jet stream is huge, hundreds of miles wide.  I also, aside from joke photos, don't have any clue what a flying tractor is...perhaps you can refer that one to experts on aircraft.

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QUESTION: When I said Jet Stream was referring to the disruption of the air by the plane flying through it. ( Not sure on proper term ) Farm tractor was meant to imply we turn very poorly and slowly. Did it turn in flight?

What advice would you give to someone who enjoys mechanics and wants to study physics but has a masters in analysis ( pure math ) in progress. I never studied physics at university. Could you see clearly someone who studied math working in stages to get into physics. ( I haven't decided on a phd yet besides the fact I want one. )

i'm really not the historical expert you'll need to find for your question about a test flight that predated my birth, perhaps here:

I would advise you to see if you find a basic physics course (you didn't even take physics I?) to be easy.  You'll be required to take advanced physics courses which really do rely on the understanding of the basics.  You, being in math, may particularly interested in advanced classes like relativity as well, and quantum mechanics because it's counterintuitive anyhow.  It will take quite some time if you don't even have basic physics.


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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.


I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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